02:00 PM

As CA sea otter population declines, conservation fund falters

Defenders of Wildlife calls on late tax-filers to save the Sea Otter Fund, research


  • According to the USGS’s spring survey of California sea otters, the 3-year-average population has declined by 3.6 percent, down for the second consecutive year
  • The California Sea Otter Fund, a state tax check-off program, is more than $31,000 short of raising $258,563, the amount required by the Calif. Franchise Tax Board for the fund to remain on state tax forms next year  
MONTEREY BAY, Calif. (08/03/2010) -

The threatened California sea otter population has declined for a second consecutive year, according to an annual survey released today by U.S. Geological Survey. The sea otter population 3-year-average fell to 2,711 animals, a loss of 3.6 percent since last year.

Meanwhile, research programs seeking to understand why sea otters are dying are also in jeopardy, as an important funding source – the California sea otter tax check-off program – is still $31,000 short of raising enough money to stay on state tax forms next year.   

The following is a statement by Jim Curland, Defenders of Wildlife’s marine program associate:

“In order to save California’s sea otters, we must understand why they are dying, and researchers can’t do that without vital funding from the California Sea Otter Fund. Time is running out for late tax-filers to donate to the fund, which still needs to raise more than $31,000 in the next five months to stay on the state tax form next year.

“Half the money raised by the fund goes to the California Coastal Conservancy for research and programs to improve sea otter habitat, including efforts to reduce sea otter deaths, while the rest goes to the California Department of Fish and Game and its Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center to help understand why sea otters are dying, to prevent illegal sea otter killings, and to fund other law enforcement efforts.

“Last year, our sea otter population faced its first decline in over a decade, and the downward trend has unfortunately continued. This fund is too important for the sea otter’s survival to let go. Every donation helps to give these magnificent animals the shot at life they deserve.”



Monitor the California sea otter fund.

Learn more about sea otters.


Jim Curland, (831) 726-9010
Brian Bovard, (202) 772-0284